Santa Clarita in the midst of rare cold streak.
Consider this two week period “winter” in Santa Clarita. Temperatures have dropped into the 30s overnight and the chili weather has some homeowners looking out for an unexpected problem.
As temperatures get below freezing, it is possible for the water in pipes to freeze. The freezing can cause some damage to the pipes, so homeowners should take precautions.
The most susceptible spot for freezing is on sections of pipe outdoors.
“We recommend covering anything exposed…like the main water service that comes into the house or your irrigation points,” said John Murray, owner and operator of John Murray Plumbing in Santa Clarita.
Standard pipe insulation offers the best protection, and it can be purchased at home improvement stores. However since inclement weather is rare, Murray says just about anything can serve as a quick fix.
“We’ve had people use bath mats, cardboard, even trash can lids,” he told KHTS. “You just have to cover it 100 percent.”
Usually our cold weather doesn’t drop too far below freezing, so the concern should just be limited to outdoor pipe. If it does get extremely cold, damage could occur to pipes located underground or in the home.
“Really, if it gets into the 20s, then we recommend running some water in the house, just to keep it moving. If it’s moving it’s less likely to freeze, said Murray.”
In these cases a slow drip from a faucet should suffice. Remember to only allow the faucet to drip during extremely cold weather.
Most residents will be in good shape on any given year. It is the rare dips in temperature that everyone needs to be prepared for.
“It almost has to get in the mid to low 20s before we start seeing widespread problems,” Murray said. “But preventive maintenance is important.”
If your home is affected, you will notice first thing in the morning when no water comes out of the faucet.
Sometimes, simply allowing the pipes to thaw is all that is needed to correct the problem.
Other times damage is done.
“Usually it’s the brass that goes first,” said Murray, who said that includes shut off valves, pressure regulators and sprinklers. “All those are brass, and brass tears very easily if frozen.”
If that happens, Murray recommends calling your water provider and shutting off the water meter.
These next few weeks will likely bring the coldest weather of the year to Santa Clarita. Residents should take precautions insulating their pipes, and if done properly, problems should be as rare as the cold spell itself.